Many people, especially the older generation, tend to assume that traditional Chinese herbal remedies are safer and healthier compared to modern western medicine. However, that’s not the case according to this recent research.
According to NST, a herbal compound known as Aristolochic acid (AA), which is found in numerous traditional medicines, has been linked to liver cancer across several Asian countries, as pointed by the research.
In fact, AA has been previously linked to kidney failure and urinary tract cancer too.
However, possibly due to the lack of awareness, herbs that contain AA are still being widely used throughout Asian countries, which is believed to have caused the rise of multiple different cancer types.
Besides, many members of the public are still using these herbs as they are easily available on the internet or sold in other formulations.
For instance, Chinese herbal medicines that contain this carcinogenic substance have been given to women during childbirth in order to prevent parasites and to speed up healing.
Here’s a list of Chinese herbs containing AA and their respective botanical names.
- Guang Fang Ji – Aristolochia fangchi
- Xixin – Radix et Rhizoma Asari
- Guan Mu Tong – Aristolochia manshuriensis
- Qing Mu Xiang – Aristolochia cucurbitifolia
- Ma Dou Ling – Aristolochia debilis
- Tian Xian Teng – Aristolochia contorta
Cancer caused by AA is especially prevalent in Taiwan. Researchers tested 98 liver tumours that were stored in several hospitals, and discovered that 78 per cent contained mutation pattern caused by contact with this carcinogenic compound.
Things aren’t better off in China either because out of 89 samples of liver cancer tested, 47 per cent showed a link to this medicine component. Needless to say, we should avoid this chemical at all cost since the correlation is very clear here.
Due to its toxin nature, herbal medications containing Aristolochia species have been banned in Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Malaysia.
Just to be safe, please get your Chinese herbal medicines from reputable shops or pharmacies and read through the labels before consuming them. It’s better be safe than sorry guys!
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